SYRIZA slams New Democracy over edited video of MPs 'call to arms'

SYRIZA and New Democracy have been involved in a new war of words over the conservative party’s allegations that a SYRIZA MP essentially issued a call to arms to disgruntled Greeks.

On Wednesday evening, New Democracy released a video of Vangelis Diamantopoulos delivering a speech in which he is seen to suggest that Greeks taking up guns is a justifiable response to the crisis.

Diamantopoulos, who caused a stir in Parliament last week when he said that he had an anarchist background, is also seen in the video saying that the Villa Amalias squat in Athens raided recently by police was not a center of lawlessness.

He added that The Mall, a large shopping center in northern Athens, which was bombed four days after the MP’s speech was a more appropriate symbol of lawlessness.

In a statement, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou referred to Diamantopoulos as being “terrorist-friendly” and an “anarchist” and accused him of making The Mall a target.

Kedikoglou called on the justice system to investigate the matter.

SYRIZA responded by accusing Kedikoglou of presenting a heavily edited video of Diamantopoulos’s speech and of taking his comments out of context.

In the full version of the SYRIZA MP’s speech, he says: “At the moment, they are saying to people: “In your exasperation, either commit suicide or pick up a gun.” What we say is: “Join us and turn this rage into a creative movement. That’s the clear message from SYRIZA.”

SYRIZA said New Democracy was guilty of “forgery and a disgusting provocation” and suggested that those responsible for distributing the edited footage should face criminal charges.

The two parties have been at loggerheads over the last few weeks over political violence, with ND accusing SYRIZA of not condemning it strongly enough and the leftists accusing the conservatives of trying to divert people’s attention from the state of the economy.